Thursday, February 9, 2012

Feeling DANKstalgic

The eve of the Vintage Bazaar finds me more than a little nostalgic for my days with STUDY, a company John Tyler and I started together almost three years ago. A lot of my stuff, my taste (okay, our taste) his passion and affinity for the written word, some blind ambition, and bang: a vintage business was born.

Seems like ages ago that our first little booth had been carefully plotted––each item cataloged, priced, and packed. We asked a friend to take a load in her car, the rest was crammed into my Acura. We were so excited.

As I look at photos of this and the following markets, I think of the hours spent sourcing all of this stuff. It has been a labor of love and some pain, tears even, financial risk, joy, success. And we had only just begun. And now "we" is "I". Now Houndstooth is me, and STUDY is he.

I wonder what keeps me going, and there is a lot of grey. My day job has not gotten easier, in fact the contrary, as there have been increased responsibilities and promotions to live up to. In the last months I have sold some items I swore were part of my permanent collection. There is still a certain chair I long for, an unusually large cloche that I may never see the likes of again. In the evening after packing up I sit in the living room, and it's often stripped of its best pieces. Items that don't sell come back with a dent or scratch from the rough haul. And every time I put the room back together, the best I can, with leftover items from my inventory. And then I repeat it all again: build up the collection, pawn it off.

I am an agent of things.

To sound even more maudlin and self-absorbed for a moment, when people buy from Houndstooth they are buying a piece from an assemblage. One little piece of the whole. For this reason I do not see the point in an online store, where objects are isolated from their intended purpose against a white background. The joy I get is creating a whole environment out of found objects, and then showing it to everyone. Selling that environment, piece by piece, allows me to do it again and again.

One of these days maybe I'll get it out of my system, but until then, I guess we'll see you at the Dank?

The Vintage Bazaar
4740 N Western

Saturday, Feb 11, noon-6PM
Sunday, Feb 12, 11AM-4Pm


  1. keep it up. you have one of the most interesting and beautiful collections of found pieces i have ever seen. a friend of mine and my twin sister and myself were at your booth for vintage bazaar a few months ago. yours was my favorite of all the vendors. and it was as you describe... like walking into someone's personal home space. if i had had the money, i would have bought the entire booth just as you had it displayed to place in my own home. it was just so warm and inviting... felt like being in some old hollywood film actor's home. you have a knack for finding pieces with beauty and so much "character"... nothing in your collection seems pretentious at all.

    it must be so difficult to part with many of those pieces. i know i could not do what you do, because if i found the things you find, i would surely want to hold on to them. anyway, just wanted to say... your dedication to what you do for a second job does not go unnoticed. you seem passionate about design. i've been following your blog since i met you at that bazaar, because i respect your eye for design. again... keep it up! {and you aren't just a compelling artist/vendor... you are a nice guy! it was a pleasure to talk with you while we were there.}

    by the way, did those awesome circular-shaped mustard yellowish tan bookends sell? i almost went to today's bazaar just to see if you still had those, but i live an hour away, and it was too difficult for me to get there. i could not stop thinking about those for days after i left the bazaar a few months ago. in fact, it's why i found your blog... i was searching for a site online where you might be selling them. but i can see from this post, you don't have an online shop. oh, well. if you still have them and if it's meant to be, i'm sure i'll be able to purchase them some day at a future event.

    i hope this weekend's event was a great success for you!

    1. Hi Georgia,

      Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. I'm sorry it took me so long to reply.

      Those lovely mustard bookends sold at my trunk show in December, at Moss Flowers. I will certainly let you know if I come accross anything similar again.